How To Interview Your Interviewer
When the person interviewing you asks if you have any questions for him, he’s not just being polite. He’s trying to gauge how invested in the interview you are – whether you’ve done your homework before the interview, if you’re still interested in the position, and if he’s still interested in you. Asking your interviewer follow-up questions is one of the most important parts of the interview process, and if you’re unprepared for this portion of the interview, you may come across as unprepared or indifferent. Not to worry!
We’ve aggregated some of the best questions to ask when you’re interviewing your interviewer – and some to avoid at the very end.
What would a typical day on the job look like for someone in this role? or How will I be trained, and how will my performance be reviewed?
Make sure you fully understand the position. These first two questions serve to clarify any of your uncertainties about the position at hand. Asking your interviewer about a typical day on the job may help you understand what the scope of your role is, and maybe some duties you’ll do most often. It may open up the floor for some more follow-up questions as well. Asking about training and performance reviews can give you confidence if you’re stepping into a role you’ve never worked in before, or can perhaps make you aware if it doesn’t seem like they have a training program in place.
What are the skills and experiences you’re looking for in an ideal candidate? or What would make someone really successful in this role?
Give them confidence in you. These questions give you the opportunity to expand on any relevant strengths or accomplishments, and to be sure you’re demonstrating the qualities they’re looking for in a candidate. Once they answer your question, you can reiterate some points you’ve already discussed with them in the interview, to make sure they know you’re a strong contender.
Can you tell me about the team I would be working with? or Where have successful employees previously in this position progressed to?
Tactfully reveal any red flags. Asking questions about growth opportunities, turnover and company culture can reveal some questionable facts, and prevent unwelcomed surprises down the road. You may be able to infer how the interviewer feels about the company simply through their body language and mannerisms when you ask questions like these – if they don’t seem happy to tell you about their company, maybe they aren’t very happy to be there.
How long have you been with the company? or What’s your favorite part about working here?
Build rapport. You’ve had a chance to ask questions for your benefit, but why not ask some to get to know them? While both these questions are still related to the company you’re interviewing with, it gives your interviewer a chance to show a bit more of his personality, and gives you a chance to get to know the company from his point of view.
Questions to Avoid
While you want to make a good conversation with your interviewer, there’s plenty of questions that should be off limits. Here’s a few questions you need to avoid asking.
DON’T ASK: What does your company do? (As we said – do your homework!)
DON’T ASK: How often does the company offer raises?
DON’T ASK: Can I do this job from home?
DON’T ASK: Where’s the best place for happy hour around here?
DON’T ASK: How long is lunch?
DON’T ASK: Will I have to take a drug test?
These are just a few examples of questions to ask (and questions to avoid) at the end of your job interview. If you come into an interview with a few of these in your back pocket, your interviewer will be pleased – you came prepared, and you’re showing a vested interest in the job at hand. Be sure to not bombard your interviewer, just pick a handful of these questions and always be sure to end your interview on a positive note!